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Paul Naure

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  1. Recently I thought Tsurezure Children (2017) was very good : using a lot of quick cliché setups, not wasting any time. Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko (2011) is a favourite of mine : the romantic elements are omnipresent but never overstated, it's a very eccentric but also elegant anime. Hyouka (2012) is a very refined show from Kyoto Animation, where the romance is slowly established in a sophisticated manner. Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (Kare Kano) from 1998 : smart and funny, kinda focused on psychology and introspection. My personal old-school favourite would be the 1987 classic Kimagure Orange Road.
  2. Thank you for mentioning the Canipa Effect channel, the host seems to have compiled and analysed an impressive amount of information related to anime production. His video on "Kono Subarashii..." really makes me want to watch it for the animation, even though it would typically not be my cup of tea. On a side note, don't you think your post should be titled "English Voice Actors" since "creative minds involved in anime" would normally refer to japanese directors, animators, producers (etc.) ? Also the video "Steins;Gate in 60 Seconds" spoils the whole first season, so... spoiler alert !
  3. The first season is a lot of fun, has good comedy, good drama, good sci-fi themes that make you think and is somewhat based on real life conspiracy theory but all in good fun. The characters are all very well written, so much so that you tend to forget the unbelievable and parodic nature of the plot. The animation and cinematography are both really efficient. It's very enjoyable. In my opinion this second season (10 episodes so far) is very poor in comparison. There is practically no comedy to be found as the main character is sad and traumatized from the get go. The situations and relations feel forced and the dialogue is especially bad. I can tell the voice actors had a hard time to convey anything. The biggest let down is the animation (or lack thereof half of the time) and the cinematography which is really average, with lots of panning and camera shake on non animated shots. It also seems that there was not enough quality control over the regularity of the characters' design. That said, the 8th episode had better overall quality with some decent animation here and there, so all hope is not lost for the rest of the show.
  4. I agree, heads are being cut off in closeups, many shots look ridiculously cramped. We're living crucial times where perishable works of art are being captured into digital format to be preserved for all eternity, but we're not doing a good job at it. Probably because there is no financial motivation to do so. And the original copies won't last forever to be re-scanned properly, if they do exist still... I've seen a short documentary on the remastering of an old Hitchcock movie : they were considering scanning it in 4K but as it would have taken a week to do so, they scanned it in 2K and that took 2 days instead. Nobody cares perhaps but I find this appalling and depressing, really. Anyway, I've started a simple blog in order to list cropped anime movies with comparison screenshots. So far I've added : Roujin Z (1991) Sirius no Densetsu - Sea Prince & The Fire Child (1981) Robot Carnival (1987) I'll slowly add those already mentioned here, and unfortunately a lot more... Once completed, I hope it could be a good reference to help raise awareness of the issue among classic anime enthusiasts. Thank you for the screenshots. The 2nd italian DVD looks really beautiful, too bad it has been cropped. The Japanese Bluray seems badly color corrected and, as always with film grain removal, the background (which is usually not made of solid colors) has totally lost its details and its charm. I've also seen the comparison screenshots of the new Cardcaptor Sakura remaster, the frame is bigger and that's great but the backgrounds are totally smoothed out and without life, again due to film grain removal.
  5. Thank you, you're right and the other movies Sailor Moon S and SuperS appear to have suffered a similar fate. It would seem that most movies derived from TV series were drawn in 4:3 (not always true though) and many of them have been cropped on Bluray or even DVD. Maybe I'll try to build a list that I'll add to the first post, hopefully with your help. You're right, the subject is a bit more complicated than 4:3 versus 16:9 since animation of this era was most likely shot with 35mm film which has a standard aspect ratio of 1.375, a bit wider than 1.33 (4:3). One way to confirm the format would be to look at original layouts that displays the border of the frame unequivocally. For example Dragon Ball Z does appear to be drawn in 1.375 : So, taking the bigger width of Beautiful Dreamer's bluray as a basis to draw a 1.375 film frame we can ‎speculate that even the DVD has been slightly cropped both horizontally and vertically. (also notice the cut off head in the bluray, again) : A similar problem exists for widescreen movies : 35mm film was also commonly used with an anamorphic lens to shoot in 1.85 format which is also a bit wider than 16:9 (1.78). That's why old widescreen movies that are released on bluray should also have a bit of letterboxing, and fortunately most of the great classics do (Ghibli movies, Akira, Venus Wars, and others). But looking at Tenshi no Tamago (1985) by Mamoru Oshii, which is a widescreen movie (confirmed by storyboard documents), the bluray is fullscreen 1920*1080 with no letterboxing and probably slighly cropped horizontally. But it's hard to say for sure. So really, the heavy butchering occurs when non-widescreen movies are unashamedly cropped to 16:9 (a real insult to the original animation artists by the way). I totally agree about unwelcomed filtering and I originally planned to create two other separate discussions about anime preservation : one about film grain reduction and other 'enhancing' filters, and another one about the state of original production archiving (or lack thereof) due to celluloid and key animation drawings being inconsiderately sold worldwide. Along with the cropping problem, I think these issues are going to induce major facepalming once japanese animation appreciation will achieve academic recognition in the near future. To stay on topic, Windaria (1986) is another movie I was suprised to discover was not widescreen (thanks to a series of still shots in an artbook). There is a widescreen english DVD and also a 4:3 italian DVD (that I almost bought) but sadly that one is also zoomed in and cropped quite severely : No Bluray yet though, so there's still some hope The next one I will look into is Roujin-Z (1991) since I'm not so sure it's really a widescreen movie. Would any of you have some info on this one ?
  6. Before the mid 2000's anime movies were often drawn in the 4:3 format. Since then, it seems that a lot of them have been remastered in the 16:9 format simply by cropping the height of the frame, effectively removing 25% of the picture. In my experience the information online about original aspect ratios is often non-existent or incorrect. Only previous editions (on VHS/LD/DVD) or old illustrations and a bit of detective work may reveal if the frame has been altered or not. Example 1 : Urusei Yatsura Movie 2 Beautiful Dreamer (1984) The older DVD (on the left) clearly shows a bigger frame in 4:3 than the bluray in 16:9 (on the right). Example 2 : Five Star Monogatari (1989) A scanned artbook features still shots in 4:3 (on the left) that we can compare to the visibly cropped 16:9 bluray (on the right). Example 3 : Towards the Terra (1980) An unused bonus scene reveals an original aspect ratio of 4:3 (on the left), while the 16:9 bluray (on the right) exhibits characters' heads awkwardly cut off in many shots. It should be obvious that a well composed frame in 4:3 usually becomes unbalanced and even incoherent when cropped to 16:9. Are these movies remastered and cropped for good or do you think the originals are kept untouched by the right owners ? Animation is an important art form which history ought to be preserved with a higher degree of fidelity, and I can see no legitimate argument for such an act of cultural barbary. As a comparison, painting restorations would never start by trimming one quarter of the canvas ! Imagine this : This should be at least a bit worrying for any enthusiast caring about japanese animation history. So I'd like to hear from those who don't mind black side bars on their display and genuinely feel concerned by the issue. What are some anime movies you suspect (or you know) to have been cropped ? List of 4:3 movies cropped to widescreen : Five Star Monogatari (1989) Genma Taisen - Harmagedon (1983) Robot Carnival (1987) Roujin Z (1991) Sirius no Densetsu (1981) Towards the Terra (1980) Urusei Yatsura Movie 2 Beautiful Dreamer (1984) Windaria (1986) From TV Series : Kimagure Orange Road Movie - Ano Hi ni Kaeritai (1988) Ranma 1/2 Movies (1991 - 1994) Sailor Moon Movies (R - S - SuperS) (1993-1995) Saint Seiya Movies (1987-1989)
  7. I was also a kid in the late 80's and loved japanese animation when the first big shows started to be broadcasted on TV : Saint Seiya, Dragon Ball, Urusei yatsura, Maison Ikkoku, Sherlock Hound, and many more. Then growing up, Akira (by Katsuhiro Otomo) was a huge revelation. I bought the first volumes of the manga which was simply mind blowing and in 1991 I bought the VHS of the animated movie which was also the most impressive visual experience I ever had at this point. I watched it countless times. After that I really loved Ranma ½ and City Hunter and the classic anime style of the early 90's. Thanks to these shows I started to become familiar with the japanese visual vocabulary of comedy that we all understand today (all the flavours of smileys for exemple). Also the frequent use of 3 shades of color to create shapes through shadows and highlights was really impressive in City Hunter. In 1995, I got to see Miyazaki's Porco Rosso in a movie theatre which made me realize as a teenager that animation really was my favourite art form. Porco Rosso (with the french voice actors) is still my favourite animated movie today. In 1999 and later I saw Ghost in the Shell, Perfect Blue, Jin-Roh and Mononoke-hime, all masterpieces that confirmed for good my love for japanese animation.
  8. Hi, I've been watching anime for a long time and I am looking forward to ineract with this community.
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